Diet Plan for Crohn's Disease

Woman with bowel discomfort

If you or someone you love suffers from Crohns Disease, you are probably looking for a Crohns Disease diet plan that will help alleviate symptoms.

What Is Crohns Disease?

Crohns Disease is a type of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, which is the result of an attack on the intestinal tract by the immune system. The actual underlying cause of Crohns is still not fully understood. Crohns Disease can affect both the small and large intestines. This can result in diarrhea and malnutrition, which can lead to a host of other related health problems.

Crohns Disease Diet Plan

If you have spent a good deal of time searching for a diet plan to help reduce the discomfort associated with Crohns Disease, you may be feeling some frustration. There are no clear cut guidelines when it comes to a diet and lifestyle plan for people dealing with Crohns.

It is important for individuals with Crohns Disease to consume a diet high in both calories and protein, even when you don't feel like eating. Most health care professionals would recommend a diet plan that includes eating meals and several snacks regularly timed each day. It is also important to make sure you take any nutritional supplements recommended by your doctor. This can help to ensure that your vitamin and mineral needs are being met.

Avoiding Food Triggers

Although there is no scientific evidence to support the avoidance of food triggers, it is thought many flare ups could be avoided if food triggers can be identified. Most people with Crohns Disease are told by their doctors to figure out which foods trigger the recurrence of symptoms and to avoid those foods or find a different way to prepare them.Here is the list of the foods thought to be the most common triggers for Crohns-related symptoms:

  • Alcohol
  • Fats such as butter, margarine, and oils
  • Coffee, tea, and chocolate
  • Dairy products
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Fried foods
  • High fiber food
  • Raw fruits
  • Raw vegetables
  • Foods thought to promote gas (lentils, beans, broccoli, onions, cabbage)
  • Red meat
  • Pork
  • Whole grains
  • Bran

If you are able to determine which foods trigger your symptoms, then theoretically you can prevent flare ups by avoiding those foods. In order to determine which foods are your trigger foods, you can experiment with an elimination diet to try to see which ones cause you the most problems.

Keep a Daily Food Diary

Keeping a daily diary of all of the foods you eat, as well as when symptoms occur, may help you to figure out if specific foods are causing your symptoms to surface and result in discomfort. Keep a food diary by recording foods you eat every day. It is a good idea to consult with a Registered Dietitian after you have been keeping your food diary for a month or so, in order to make sure you're meeting all of your nutritional needs.

Food Allergy and Sensitivity Testing

While the research is still preliminary, some healthcare professionals believe food allergies and sensitivities can contribute to Crohns Disease and other issues related to an inflamed bowel.

Food Allergy Testing

Talk to your primary care physician about being tested for food allergies and sensitivities. Most physicians can give you a food allergy test to determine if you are having allergic reactions to any of the most common food allergens.

Food Sensitivity Testing

Food sensitivities are a little more difficult to diagnose because many doctors are not aware blood tests are available that can help identify problem-causing foods. The Mediator Release Test (MRT) has been proven in numerous clinical studies to be extremely accurate for identifying foods that cause immune mediated reactions that a food allergy test would miss. The MRT tests for up to 150 foods and chemicals. Typically, a Registered Dietitian who is trained in reading the test will help to create an eating plan tailored to your individual needs after this test is completed.

If you suffer from Crohns Disease, the most important thing to remember is to keep trying new things to help ease your symptoms. While, there are no clear guidelines at this time for the perfect Crohns Disease diet plan, research is being conducted all the time which will hopefully result in every Crohns sufferer finding relief in the near future.

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Diet Plan for Crohn's Disease